What is a cannabis edible?
Simply put, any food or beverage that is infused with activated cannabis concentrate is considered a cannabis edible. Health Canada differentiates between “edible cannabis solids” (such as chocolates or gummies) and “edible cannabis beverages.”
This article focuses on the type of solid cannabis edibles found in the Spectrum Therapeutics Shop, including cannabis-infused chocolates and gummies.
How do cannabis edibles differ from other formats?
Cannabis-infused edibles offer a convenient, precise—and delicious—way to consume medical cannabis. They provide an alternative to inhaled formats, and to other ingested formats, such as softgels and oils. We encourage you to speak with a healthcare professional to determine whether edible formats may be right for you.
Cannabis edibles differ from inhaled formats in how the cannabis is activated. When you smoke or vape cannabis, you activate the cannabinoids by decarboxylating (heating) them. Edibles contain cannabis extract in which these compounds have already been activated, meaning they’re ready to consume when needed, without any additional preparation.
How does a cannabis edible work?
Ingested cannabis is processed by your body differently than inhaled cannabis. When you inhale cannabis, the active compounds are absorbed into your bloodstream through the lungs, and onset of effects could begin within seconds to minutes. Ingested cannabis must be processed by your digestive system before it enters your bloodstream; as a result, it may take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to begin feeling the effects after ingestion.
How are cannabis edibles made?
The manufacturing of cannabis edibles is a complex process, but three of the fundamental steps are as follows:
1. CO2 extraction
In order to infuse food or beverages with cannabis, a cannabis extract is required. To obtain the extract, liquid-state carbon dioxide (CO2) is added to raw cannabis materials, under immense pressure and heat. When the process is complete, the CO2 is released as a gas and only concentrated cannabis extract remains.
2. Short-path distillation
Once the concentrated cannabis extract is collected, it is refined using a process called short-path distillation. This process uses precise vacuum and heat control to turn the concentrated extract into a refined extract—or cannabis distillate—which is ready to be added to edible products.
3. Infusing the cannabis edibles
The refined cannabis distillate is easily added to edible cannabis solids (adding the distillate to beverages requires a further step of emulsification). This is a highly-regulated process that ensures a precisely measured dose of high-quality cannabis extract in each edible.
Different forms of cannabis edibles
For edible cannabis solids, the most common forms are chocolate and gummies. Both are suitable for those interested in an alternative method of consuming medical cannabis that is discreet, convenient, and smoke-free.
Chocolates are a delicious way to consume medical cannabis. All of our chocolate products contain a consistent amount of specially formulated cannabis extract that includes THC, or a combination of THC and CBD. Learn more about cannabis-infused chocolate available through Spectrum Therapeutics.
Cannabis-infused gummies are a convenient, precise, and innovative way to consume medical cannabis for those who prefer a chewable alternative. As with our chocolate products, all our gummies contain a consistent amount of specially formulated cannabis extract that includes THC, or a combination of THC and CBD. Learn more about cannabis-infused gummies available through Spectrum Therapeutics.
What are the regulations concerning cannabis edibles?
How much THC can a cannabis edible contain?
By law, a package of cannabis edibles cannot contain more than 10 mg of THC. Currently, there is no specified limit on how much CBD they can contain.
Where are cannabis edibles available for purchase?
You can purchase cannabis edibles wherever you can legally buy cannabis now. Spectrum Therapeutics customers can find them easily in our shop.
Where can cannabis edibles be consumed?
As of this writing, there aren’t any specific regulations governing where you can and cannot consume cannabis edibles. However, each province sets its own public consumption laws, so it’s advisable to know your local regulations before consuming cannabis edibles in any public space.
Cannabis should not be consumed in any form if you’re driving, operating heavy machinery, or engaging in any other potentially hazardous activity.
Guidelines for responsible consumption of cannabis edibles
When consuming cannabis-infused edibles, it’s important to start low and go slow.
Onset and duration of effects
It may take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to begin feeling the effects of an edible after ingestion, and the effects may last up to 12 hours. Note that some effects could last as long as 24 hours (Health Canada 2020).
It can take up to 4 hours to feel the full effects from eating or drinking cannabis. Consuming more during this time period can result in adverse events that may require medical attention (Health Canada 2020).
We suggest consuming when you have enough time to allow for the effects to pass in order to understand how you will be affected.
What quantity of edibles can I order?
The medical equivalency calculation used by Spectrum Therapeutics is required for the purpose of tracking the grams-per-day limit as established by your healthcare provider. Products with higher cannabinoid concentrations will have a higher equivalency than products with lower concentrations.
Every cannabis edible label must indicate the gram equivalency of that product; when you purchase a cannabis edible, its gram equivalency will be deducted from your monthly allotment. For example:
- With the purchase of each Tweed cannabis-infused chocolate bar, 2 grams will be deducted from your monthly allotment
- With the purchase of each pack of Twd. cannabis-infused gummies, 1 gram will be deducted from your monthly allotment
Store away from children and pets
We package all of our medical cannabis products, including edibles, in childproof containers. But as an extra precaution, cannabis-infused edibles should always be stored where children and pets can’t access them.
The illicit market
Cannabis edibles purchased on the illicit market are not governed by the same safety regulations as those purchased legally. There is no way to ensure that illicit-market edibles contain accurate or consistent doses of THC or CBD, or that they are free from additives, allergens, or other unwanted substances. We recommend purchasing cannabis edibles only from the legal market.
Explore specific products
To learn more about specific cannabis-infused edible products available through Spectrum Therapeutics, visit the Spectrum Shop.
This communication is intended for adults only in the province in which it is distributed and should not be shared with minors.